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A case study of effectiveness of staff training and development at North West parks and tourism board
Effective training is an investment in the human resources of an organisation, with both immediate and long-term benefits. Researching the effectiveness of training in tourism organisations in South Africa has not received much attention. The purpose of this quantitative study was to evaluate the perceived effectiveness of training programmes attended by employees located at the head office of the North West Parks and Tourism Board in South Africa. The levels of perceived training effectiveness has been proxied by the levels of overall satisfaction with training programmes participated by employees. The study also emphasized the importance of training as an important human resource development which is the present clay competitive model, Obsolescence among employees and the need to cope with the technological, organisational and social changes make continuous learning and updating of skills indispensable at the North West Parks and Tourism Board, in particular, and other organisation, in general. To address the stated study objectives, employees located at the head office of the North West Parks and Tourism Board received and completed a quantitative survey questionnaire. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. First and foremost, alpha analysis was used in order to judge the reliability of the data and the statistical significance of the measures of effectiveness. The results showed a high level of reliability in the data. Further results demonstrated that most employees found the training programmes they have attended to be relevant to their jobs, the trainers had been competent, training programmes participated have been interesting, training programmes participated have generally been useful, specific skills were learnt from participating in those training programmes, by participating in those training programmes their job performance has improved, they have been able to practise what they gained from participating in those training programmes, and employees f elt more effective in doing their job after participating in those training programmes. Chi-square tests were also carried out in order to analyze whether there is any association between the perceived levels of effectiveness of training programmes and some important constructs- personal elements, training environment, work environment, and perceived values and derived benefits of training. The results from analyzing the background elements did not reveal any associations with the overall levels of satisfaction with training programmes respondents have participated, which proxies the levels of effectiveness of training programmes participated by respondents. Only two physical comfort items of training environment were found to has significant relationship with the effectiveness of training programmes- the level of accessibility of training facilities at training centres and that the level of pleasantness of physical environment during training sessions. None of the training centre control items was found any significant association with the effectiveness of training programmes while none of the three items of work environment was also found to have a significant association with the effectiveness of training programmes. The results also showed no significant relationship between the level of effectiveness of training programmes attended and the level of agreement to the statement that respondents' supervisors are never interested to know what their staff learn at training and the level of effectiveness of training programmes attended, the level of agreement to the statement that supervisors encouraged them to participate in training programmes, and the level of agreement to the statement that resources are always provided so they could apply and practise what they learn. Of the nine items on the perceived values and derived benefits of training, only two were found to have significant associations with the effectiveness of training programmes - the level of improvement respondents have had after participating in training programmes and the ability to practise on the job those skills learned from participating in training programmes.